The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has told the opposition parties to stop complaining about the 2023 presidential election and accept defeat, describing that claims the elections were rigged as “fraudulent”.
In a statement signed by his Special Assistant (Media), Segun Adeyemi, on Sunday in Abuja, the minister stated that both Peter Obi of the Labour Party and Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party lost the election due to overconfidence and complacency.
Mr Mohammed further said the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, won the presidential election fair and square and surpassed the constitutionally required 25 per cent of votes cast in each of at least two-thirds of all the states in the federation and the Federal Capital Territory.
He said, “Going by the results, none of the opposition parties met any of the conditions stipulated for winning the presidential election. They didn’t even come close, in spite of their pre-election grandstanding.
“They (opposition) keep leaning on some international observers to justify their fraudulent claim that the election was rigged.”
The minister also defended Buhari’s verdict that the opposition parties lost the presidential poll due to overconfidence.
“Mr President’s analysis on the reasons for the opposition’s loss in the 2023 elections was incontrovertible. President Buhari deserves nothing but accolades for delivering undoubtedly the best election in Nigeria’s history, adding that the tempestuous but predictable reaction to the President’s comments by the opposition has shown them for what they are: shameless sore losers.
“President Muhammadu Buhari lived up to his billing by delivering a free, fair and credible election, and his legacy is assured. The President would rather lose his state and many of his party’s strongholds than tamper with the fidelity of the election, and that is why he provided a level playing field for all parties,’’ Mohammed added.
According to him, the opposition’s overconfidence going into the election stemmed in part from social media propaganda as well as faulty and procured opinion polls, which were apparently meant to hoodwink their foreign backers and a section of the international media into uncritically reporting that they were coasting home to victory when they were indeed heading into the ravine of defeat.
“They conveniently forgot what Ambassador Johnnie Carson, the revered US diplomat who co-led the National Democratic Institute and International Republican Institute International Election Observation Mission to Nigeria, said that the APC candidate undoubtedly won the polls.
“They also forgot that the African Union Election Observation Mission to Nigeria said the atmosphere was generally calm and peaceful in 95 per cent of the polling units visited,’’ he said, adding that it is on the strength of these reports that many nations, including the US and the UK, wasted no time in congratulating the victorious APC presidential candidate.”
Reacting to the issue of IReV portal, Mohammed slammed the opposition for continuously seeking to mislead the world by clutching at the weak straw that results were not immediately uploaded onto the portal as if it has any role to play in the collation of results.